England hero Banks dies aged 81

England hero Banks dies aged 81

Gordon Banks, one of the world's most famous goalkeepers, passed away Tuesday at the age of 81.

The former Stoke and Leicester City stopper has been regarded for years to be one the greatest 'keepers to ever stand in goal.

A family statement read: "It is with great sadness that we announce that Gordon passed away peacefully overnight".

Banks won 73 caps for England between 1963 and 1972 and made almost 200 appearances for Stoke City before his playing career was brought to an end in a auto crash that cost him his sight in one eye.

Gordon Banks was one of England's heroes in the 1966 World Cup, helping his country to their first ever world title. He was named Federation Internationale de Football Association goalkeeper of the year six times.

Pele was at the height of his powers when Carlos Alberto's mesmerising team faced defending champions England in the sweltering heat of Guadalajara during the group stages of the 1970 World Cup.

At the time, Banks could not realise just what significance those few seconds would go on to take, imprinted on the memory for all who witnessed his save and the generations since who have watched it on YouTube.

"On behalf of FIFA and the whole football community, I would like to extend my sincerest condolences to Gordon's friends and family".

Announcing the news on Sky, Boulton mistakenly told viewers that the former Prime Minister and Chancellor of the Exchequer had died.

He has died aged 81, after an ongoing battle with kidney cancer.

Southgate - who reignited the kind of modesty of spirit and fairplay engendered by the 1966 side that has been largely missing in England teams since that era - said he had enjoyed spending time with an "all-time great".

The former Stoke City man was also incredible at saving penalties.

Federation Internationale de Football Association also praised Banks by using the clip from 1970, tweeting from its World Cup Twitter account.

This is a breaking news story and will be updated.

"We've been expecting his, he has been poorly for a number of weeks but it's a very sad day for us, we love him so much", said Coates.

"Our thoughts are with Gordon's family and friends".

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